AN/SO 321 - Childhood & Youth

This course explores how the contemporary challenges of South Africa as a developing nation impact the livelihoods and identities of South African children and youths. We will also, explore how local and international influences (e.g. media and subcultures) have acted as either enabling or disabling forces in their lives. Through this course, students will gain a thorough understanding of the complexities faced by the youth population in Southern Africa and the continent at large; reflect on the influences of the international community on child and youth development; and identify comparative and shared child and youth development concerns in South Africa and the USA. The course will explore topics on identity, coming-of-age practices, youth subcultures, childhood and youth in the digital age, violence and resilience and other key topics within the public discourse.

A comparative and reflective approach is used throughout the course, however students will be provided with the background on the different challenges and policies related to children and youth in Southern Africa. Students are encouraged to use each session to reflect on their own lives and the tools they had to navigate the various phases of their life, as well as any interesting local initiatives in their home towns. In addition, there is a selection of guest speakers and site visits to further enhance students’ learning experience, and to enable them to contextualize the topic discussed in the classroom setting.

This course is currently pending review by the Curriculum Committee. Please be sure to check the Academics section of the IES Abroad Health, Culture, and Development program page at a later date to obtain a finalized copy of this syllabus.

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